Coös County, New Hampshire Genealogy

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Template:New Hampshire-stubUnited States > New Hampshire > Coos County

County Courthouse

Coos County Courthouse
PO Box 309
Lancaster, NH 03584-0309
Phone: 603.788.4900 Details
Town or City Clerks have birth, marriage, death and burial records;
Clerk Superior Court has divorce and court records from 1887;
Register of Probate has probate records; Register of Deeds
has land records

Towns Organized Before 1800:
Bartlett 1790,
Cambridge 1773,
Colebrook 1790,
Columbia 1797,
Dalton 1784,
Dummer 1773,
Jefferson 1796,
Kilkenny 1774,
Lancaster 1763,
Millsfield 1774,
Northumberland 1779,
Stratford 1773,
Stewartstown 1799,
Success 1773,
Whitefield 1774


  • The name Coos derives from the Algonquian Indian term meaning crooked, the Indian name of the Connecticut River, which rises in the northernmost end of the county.
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Coos County, New Hampshire

Parent County

  • 24 December 1803, Coos County was created with northern portion from Grafton County, organized at Berlin as the county seat. [1]
  • The seat was moved to Town of Lancaster.[1]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

One record source that would be helpful, but was destroyed, is the 1890 census. There was a fire in Washington, D. C. in 1921 which badly damaged the records. None of the New Hampshire population records remain. The 1890 census veterans' lists were kept in a different building and were saved. They are available on microfilms and at You can search for veterans' or widows' names.

An interesting help for 1890 is the Town and City Atlas of the State of New Hampshire, (FHL book 974.2 E3 Folio) published in 1892 in Boston by the D. H. Hurd Company. This atlas has maps for almost every city, town, and village in New Hampshire. The maps show the locations of homes, and the map gives the name of the person living in the home. The above internet site is from the University of New Hampshire Library. On the internet it is difficult to read the small type with the names. Many large libraries, including the Family History Library have copies of this atlas where you would be able to read the names better.

Places / Localities

Populated Places

  • Berlin
  • Carroll
  • Clarksville
  • Colebrook
  • Columbia
  • Dalton
  • Dummer
  • Errol
  • Gorham
  • Jefferson
  • Lancaster
  • Milan
  • Northumberland
  • Pittsburg
  • Randolph
  • Shelburne
  • Stark
  • Stewartstown
  • Stratford
  • Whitefield

An excellent way to gain information is to contact the local town historical society. The best list of these is found at the Association of Historical Societies of New Hampshire. At that site, click on the Directory and scroll down to the town.

Birth, marriage, and death records of many New Hampshire towns and villages are available on-line at, That site has birth records early to 1900, and marriage and death records, early to about 1948. Below is a list of the towns. Many of the town birth, marriage, and death records were microfilmed and are listed in the Family History Library Catalog.

  • Atkinson & Gilmanton Academy Grant
  • Bean's Grant
  • Bean's Purchase
  • Cambridge
  • Chandler's Purchase
  • Crawford's Purchase
  • Cutt's Grant
  • Dix's Grant
  • Dixville
  • Erving's Location
  • Green's Grant
  • Hadley's Purchase
  • Kilkenny
  • Low and Burbank's Grant
  • Martin's Location
  • Millsfield
  • Odell
  • Pinkham's Grant
  • Sargent's Purchase
  • Second College Grant
  • Success
  • Thompson and Meserve's Purchase
  • Wentworth's Location
  • Dixville Notch
  • Groveton

Neighboring Counties

Carroll | and Grafton in New Hampshire; | Oxford County, in Maine; | Essex County, in Vermont; and | Compton County, in Quebec.



  • New Hampshire, Coos - Archives and libraries - inventories, registers, catalogs. The book, Inventory of the County Archives of New Hampshire, no. 4. Coos County  (FHL book 974.21 A3, film 1,415,263 item 3) was prepared by the New Hampshire Historical Records Survey in 1940. It contains a listing of the various records in the courthouse, and years for which they were available in 1940. Most of those records should still be available today. Many are available on Family History Library films.


The organization provides a way for you to request that a volunteer will take a photograph of a gravestone. Often a volunteer will respond and will e-mail you the photo and add it to the web site.

The New Hampshire Old Graveyard Association has the most complete list of cemeteries.

The Association of Historical Societies of New Hampshire has a list of almost all the town historical societies. Those societies may have cemetery records, and may be able to find someone to check books and cemetery records collections for records of your ancestors.

See also the following internet sites:


  • In the 1810 Federal Census there were 3,991 residents. By 1870 there were nearly 15,000.

Censuses for 1790 through 1940, except for the 1890 population schedules, are available on several internet sites. Many censuses are indexed on Many are available at at Family History Centers.

The 1890 census, except for the list of Civil War veterans or their widows, was destroyed by a fire in Washington, D. C. in 1921. An interesting help for 1890 is the Town and City Atlas of the State of New Hampshire, published in 1892 in Boston by the D. H. Hurd Company. The atlas has maps for almost every city, town, and village in New Hampshire. The maps show the locations of homes, and the map gives the name of the person living in the home. The above web site is from the University of New Hampshire Library.

Note: the 1890 census veterans' schedules for New Hampshire were preserved. They list Civil War veterans or their widows, and are available at


If you know the name of the town or city, and the denomination, you may wish to contact the historical society in the town where your ancestors lived. They may have volunteers who can send you the names and addresses of churches of that denomination for the town. See the internet site of the Association of Historical Societies of New Hampshire for names, addresses, telephone numbers of societies.

Or, if you know the town of residence and the ancestor's denomination, see the Church Records section in the general information in the New Hampshire wiki article. That section lists archives and other record keepers for the various religious denominations.

If you do not know the denomination, search for a marriage record. This may give the name of the minister. Then you can contact a historical society and learn at which church he was the minister. Also search for an obituary, which may mention the church the person attended. The death certificate may list the name of the cemetery. You can then write to the cemetery and ask if it is affiliated with a local church. The death certificate may mention the funeral home. Their file may have the name of the church, cemetery, or a copy of the obituary. Also, relatives might know the denomination.

Different churches contain a variety of types of records. Many churches keep baptism, marriage, and burial records. Sometimes birth and death information is included. The church records of brothers and sisters, etc. may give clues.


The court records are at the courthouse. There are films of court records available through the Family History Centers of the Family History Library. Following is a link to a collection of films that inclues indexes for the records for 1901-1920:


City and town directories are available for many towns in New Hampshire. Contact the local historical society to see if they have them for the years you need.

The Family History Library has some city directories also. You can order Family History Library film  2,310,391 item, 2 for North Country (New Hampshire) Directories. This has city and town directories for several Coos County towns, for 1928-1930. Click on the link below to see a list of the towns.

Some city directories are also available at Do a search in their card catalog for city directories.  Ancestry appears to be gathering city directories for the time period 1821-1989.


To learn about New Hampshire gazetteers, go to the gazetteer section in the New Hampshire article in this wiki. That section mentions New Hampshire gazetteers published in 1823, 1849, and 1874 are listed. Those gazetteers can be ordered on microfilms from the Family History Library. Check at your Family History Center to see if they already have the microfilm you are interested in.


Deeds records for Coos County are at the courthouse. Microfilms of deed records are available through the Family History Centers. The following are the Family History Library Catalog titles for deeds and a land ownership map:

Local Histories

There are history books for many of the towns in Coos County. Major libraries that have family history collections may have the books. For example, the Family History Library has histories for the following cities and towns in Coos County and many are available on films: Colebrook, Dummer, Errol, Jefferson, Lancaster, Milan, Pittsburgh, Randolph, Stratford, and Whitefield,

Check with the local historical society as they may have histories. See the internet site Association of Historical Societies of New Hampshire for addresses, and telephone numbers. Following are example of histories. The ones for Coos County and Lancaster are available in digital images on the internet:


Many major libraries have maps and atlases for New Hampshire. See the New Hampshire wiki article, Maps section, for information on New Hampshire maps. Local historical societies can be a valualbe source for local maps. For addresses go to the Association of Historical Societies of New Hampshire internet site.

There is a land ownership map for 1861 for Coos County available on Family History Library fiche 6079665. This gives the names of persons who owned pieces of land. You can order the fiche through Family History Centers of the Family History Library.


Revolutionary War

The most complete listing of New Hampshire Revolutionary War soldiers is found in volumes 14-17 of theNew Hampshire State Papers. You can go to, and look for New Hampshire State Papers with the link to There you will find a name index to voloumes 14-17, then you can go to the needed volume and page for information on the soldier. Often the place of residence is given.

For a military history of New Hampshire, see:

Potter, Chandler Eastman, The Military History of the State of New Hampshire. Concord, N.H.: McFarland & Jenks, 1866. (Family History Library film 1033664; fiche 6046858.) You can search this book on-line by going to Look for as the internet way to search this book. This history comprises events from the first settlements in New Hampshire to the rebellion in 1861. It includes biographical notices of many of the officers and explanatory notes.

War of 1812

See Potter's book above for information on the War of 1812.

Civil War is a free source for locating names of Civil War soldiers and sailors. is available free at FamilySearch Centers and is also valuable for finding names of soldiers and sailors.

You can go to and search for names in The Revised Register of the Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, by Augustus D. Ayling. This book gives the age, residence, and service information about approximately 32,000 New Hampshire Civil War veterans. The book is also available on microfilm or microfiche from the Family History Library.

Town history books are available through the Family History Library, and other large libraries, for many of the towns in Coos County. They often contain extensive information concerning the war and the soldiiers. For example:

  • Civil War service men from Coos County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are many companies or regiments that were formed from men of Coos County.
- 2nd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company F.
- 3rd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company G.
- 5th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company B.
World War I

A very helpful source for World War I is an index at of World War I draft registration records, 1917-1918. All men between ages eighteen and forty-five were required to register. Their birth date and place, address, and sometimes the name of nearest kin, are listed on the card. Many of these men served in the war.

World War II

There is an index on of the 1942 World War II draft registrations for New Hampshire, of men forty-five to sixty-five. Some of these men served in that war. The records contain name, address, birth date and place, name of kin or friend, name and address of employer, and signature. (See for further information.)


The following naturalization records can be found on the Family History Library Catalog:

Naturalization Records, 1888-1900; Index to Natruralizations, 1886-1930. These are on two Family History Library films.


The New Hampshire Newspaper Project was organized to collect newspapers from many New Hampshire cities and towns. See their list. The newspapers are at the New Hampshire State Library at Concord, New Hampshire.

A helpful internet site for locating newspapers is:

Another way to find newspapers is to contact the local historical society or public library. Often they have the older newspapers. See the internet site of the Association of Historical Societies of New Hampshire for address, telephone numbers, etc.



Vital Records

Certified copies of of birth, death, and marriage records are available from the State Division of Vital Records Administration or from the local city and town clerk where the event took place. Original records are kept by the city or town clerk and copies are sent to the state.

In 1905, when the state created the Bureau of Vital Records and Health, printed cards were distributed to the local clerks and earlier vital records were transcribed onto the cards and submitted to the state.


Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Web Sites


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Coos County, New Hampshire page 452, {WorldCat|50140092|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}; FHL Book 973 D27e 2002. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "HBG" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "HBG" defined multiple times with different content